How Much Do You Remember About General Patton?


By: Gavin Thagard

6 Min Quiz

Image: Wiki Commons by Joseph Christian Leyendecker

About This Quiz

Despite his controversial career, the Allied powers knew they could rely on George Patton when World War II erupted and the United States was dragged into the conflict. After all, an opportunity like that was something for which Patton had waited his entire life, as he hoped to display the talents he crafted between WWI when he got his first major battle experience and WWII when years of hard work put him in position to lead troops through some of the most critical battles in world history.

Despite the legacy he left behind, Patton wasn't viewed as a prodigy from an early age, especially considering he was never an academic in his youth. That, of course, didn't stop him from becoming one of the most recognized generals of the 20th century, both at home and abroad. The legacy he built was one based on pure determination and admiration for the military life, a topic from which he rarely took his mind off.

Here's your chance to see if you know how General Patton's life shaped out. From his earliest years to his ranking as a general in the U.S. Army, Patton achieved and overcame tasks to which most other people would succumb. Get started with this quiz and show everyone that you're not one to succumb either.

General Patton was born near the end of the 19th century in which state?

George Patton shares the name of his father, who was a prominent figure in California. The elder Patton was an attorney before he turned to politics, where he was elected as the first mayor of San Marino.


Patton was part of an invasion in the North African campaign known by which name?

General Patton was given control of the Western Task Force when the invasion of North Africa was planned under Operation Torch. His force, which consisted of 35,000 troops, landed near Casablanca, Morocco, on November 8, 1942. Two days later, they captured Casablanca.


Education is the key to becoming a good general. Do you know the first college Patton attended?

Throughout his youth, George Patton struggled with reading, which followed him to college at the Virginia Military Institute. He only attended the college for a year before he was selected to attend West Point.


In 1941, General Patton appeared on the cover of which magazine?

An issue of Life magazine released on July 7, 1941 shows Patton riding atop his signature tank. The issue was released a few months after Patton had been promoted to major general, a rank he held for the next two years.


A young soldier looking to prove himself, select the event that Patton took part in at the 1912 Summer Olympics?

The 1912 Summer Olympics was the first time that the pentathlon was added as an event. Patton competed well and ended up placing fifth overall behind four Swedish competitors.


Patton was commissioned in the 15th Cavalry Regiment after leaving college at what rank?

In 1909, Patton graduated in the top 50 of his class at West Point, which earned him a commission as a second lieutenant. As part of the commission, he joined the United States Cavalry, where he shaped his early military career.


In an attempt to develop his skills, where did Patton travel to study fencing?

With the knowledge he gained in France, Patton designed his own saber called the Cavalry Sword Model 1913. This saber, sometimes called the Patton Saber, was the last saber used by the U.S. Cavalry.


Can you identify the type of pistol handle that became famously associated with Patton?

George Patton could be seen regularly carrying around pistols with ivory handles. A .45 Long Colt Single Action revolver was the most common pistol he carried, but he also favored a .357 Magnum Smith & Wesson revolver if the situation ever called for it.


Patton led an expedition into Mexico where he chased after which Mexican revolutionary general?

Pancho Villa rose to fame as part of Francisco Madero's uprising in opposition of Mexican President Porfirio Diaz. He would later form his own military group to fight Victoriano Huerta, at which time he combated U.S. forces. Eventually, internal division forced him to retire.


The world was developing at an exceptionally fast rate at the beginning of the 20th century. What new development did Patton use during his expeditions into Mexico?

When George Patton led the expedition into Mexico, his forces used the 1915 Dodge Model 30. The car was known for having more horsepower than its competitors at the time and helped Dodge establish itself as a competitor in the car industry.


Having already earned his respect, who did Patton serve as an aide to at the start of WWI?

John Pershing was a significant U.S. general who led the American Expeditionary Forces into WWI. After his achievements in the war, Pershing was named General of the Armies, the only American general to ever receive the rank during his lifetime.


Are you familiar with the type of corps Patton became the first U.S. member of during WWI?

In 1917, Patton traveled to Paris, where he was trained by the French army in tank warfare. He went on to train soldiers to use the tanks in support of infantry before becoming the commander of the 1st Tank Corps.


Never one to shy away from the front lines, where was General Patton shot during the Meuse-Argonne Operation in 1918?

Earning him recognition among his soldiers and peers, Patton continued to command his troops from a shell hole while he was waiting to be evacuated after being shot in the leg. With the injury, his role in WWI came to an end, since he didn't return to action.


Passionate about the future of tank warfare, Patton continued to study tanks when he was assigned to which base following WWI?

Camp Meade was named after Major General George G. Meade, who had served in both the Mexican-American War and the Civil War. The camp was built during WWI as a training ground for the 79th Division before becoming a demobilization center after the war.


Can you identify the future general that Patton influenced substantially in the immediate years following World War I?

Dwight D. Eisenhower and George Patton bonded over their enthusiasm for the future of tank warfare. When they met in 1919, Patton had already been influenced by his time working with tanks in Europe while Eisenhower ran a tank training center in the United States.


Evidence of his controversial leadership, do you know what General Patton did with the bodies of three Mexican revolutionaries he killed?

Patton and his troops never found Pancho Villa during their pursuit into Mexico, but they found and killed Julio Cardenas, who was one of Villa's captains, and two of his soldiers. Feeling accomplished, Patton carried the men's bodies back on top of his vehicles like trophy animals.


What honor, reinstituted in 1932, did Patton receive for his service in WWI?

The Purple Heart was created as a successor to the Badge of Military Merit, the oldest military merit in American history. Including Patton, over 300,000 soldiers from WWI received the medal due to injuries they received.


Art can often be an escape for a war hero. How did Patton express himself through art?

As a lifetime member of the military, Patton's poetry often reflected his time at war. Evidence of how he struggled to return to civilian life, Patton occasionally wrote about his desire for a war, where he felt the most comfortable.


Select the year that General Patton reluctantly combated WWI veterans who marched on Washington, D.C. demanding pensions?

The Great Depression weighed heavily on the United States in 1932, and former soldiers felt the effects of the economic woes. Demanding early pensions, they marched on Washington D.C., but it was one of their own, George Patton, who stood against them, demanding that they return home.


Providing Patton with the opportunity to train soldiers, a role he desired, where was he sent in March of 1925?

Still struggling to adjust to peacetime in America, George Patton viewed Hawaii as a chance to utilize the best of his talents by preparing soldiers for future warfare. He eventually was assigned as a G-3, an operations officer, where he spoke out against commanding officers, earning him a bad reputation.


A life threatening condition at the time, how did Patton develop phlebitis in 1937?

George Patton was on leave in 1937 when he decided to go horseback riding with his wife, Beatrice. During this trip, Beatrice's horse kicked him in the leg when he was riding too close, knocking Patton to the ground where he passed out.


As part of a military exercise, how many tanks did Patton lead in his first trip from Columbus, Georgia, to Panama City, Florida?

The trip from Columbus, Georgia, to Panama City, Florida and back was a 400-mile stretch that Patton personally led. Part of Patton's reasoning for undertaking the venture was that he wanted to gain positive publicity for the Army and its use of tanks in warfare.


Do you know the name of Patton's famous speech he started giving troops at the beginning of WWII?

George Patton, after having been promoted to major general, started giving his "Blood and Guts" speeches at Fort Benning in 1941 as a way of inspiring his soldiers. To accomplish this, Patton went as far as building an amphitheater that would hold his entire devision.


Not every heroic act of a soldier comes during times of war. How did Patton save several children in 1923?

While on a trip to Salem, Massachusetts, several children fell off a yacht and into the water. Patton, always looking for an opportunity to show his heroics, dived in and saved the children, earning the Silver Lifesaving Medal for the act.


Are you familiar with the corps that General Patton led into North Africa during the Allied campaign in the region?

When Patton was given command of the U.S. II Corps, replacing Major General Lloyd Fredendall, it had just been defeated by the German Afrika Korps. With the change of command, Patton was promoted to lieutenant general.


Under Patton, U.S. forces finally defeated the dominant German tank units during which battle in the Tunisia Campaign?

When the Allied forces under General Patton first arrived at El Guettar, Tunisia, they faced little resistance because the Italian troops who occupied the town retreated into the surrounding mountains. However, once the Italians held this position, they launched several attacks against the Americans with the help of German tank units, though these attacks were unsuccessful.


Why was Patton's reputation damaged when he went to visit a soldier in a hospital during his time in Italy?

The horrors of WWII affected thousands of soldiers, giving them what is now called PTSD. However, Patton, who thrived during times of war, refused to accept any excuses for soldiers to skip out on the action, leading to him slapping multiple soldiers suffering from PTSD.


As part of Operation Husky, where did Patton help the Allies secure a foothold into Europe?

Patton was one of the most aggressive commanders during the Sicily Campaign, where he commanded the Seventh U.S. Army. At one point, Patton supposedly ignored a message for him to hold off on attacking Messina, claiming the message never reached his camp.


Identify the massacre that took place under General Patton's command while in Sicily?

Initially, after hearing of the Biscari Massacre, Patton dismissed the claims, believing they were exaggerations, as he sought to focus on the war. However, his views were challenged, and he eventually decided the troops who committed the act should stand trial.


As one of the most respected generals in the Ally army, Patton was used as a distraction on D-Day when Germans were told that he would lead an invasion where?

The Germans feared General Patton as much — if not more — than any other Allied forces general during WWII, knowing that he was willing to fight to the end. Even when it became clear that the invasion was being launched elsewhere, the Germans refused to move troops from Pas de Calais in case Patton came ashore there.


When Patton was finally let loose in Europe following D-Day, he was appointed commander of which army?

The U.S. Third Army was first activated in 1918 during WWI, though it was disbanded the following year as the war came to a close. The force was reactivated in 1932 when the U.S. Army was reorganized, though it served no major purpose until WWII.


The Germans launched an attack through the Ardennes forest to capture Antwerp, but they first had to lay siege to which town that was ultimately relieved by forces led by General Patton during the Battle of the Bulge?

Several important roads through the Ardennes met at Bastogne, which meant the city had to be captured if the Germans wanted to capture Antwerp. Ally forces in Bastogne had to stem off the German siege for seven days before they were relieved by Patton and the Third Army.


A horrific sight to all who witnessed it, which concentration camp did Patton tour when the fighting died down in Europe?

The Buchenwald concentration camp was finally liberated in April of 1945, revealing the horrors of German antisemitism throughout the war. To show them what their leaders had done, German civilians were marched through the camp.


Patton finished his career in the military with which rank?

Only five soldiers from WWII received the five-star ranking of General of the Army: George Marshall, Douglas MacArthur, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Henry Arnold and Omar Bradley. Patton, who often spoke out against other commanders, only received the four-star ranking, partly because he wasn't well-liked.


It was an odd ending for a decorated general. How did General Patton die as WWII came to a close?

While still in Europe following WWII, General Patton was involved in a car crash where the car he was in collided with an Army truck. Patton hit his head in the crash, which paralyzed him from the neck down. He died a few weeks later in the hospital.


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